Seen as I don’t have all that many bookish friends in real life, it isn’t very often that I either give or receive book recommendations (outside of the blogosphere), and in some ways I’m quite glad about that. There’s a certain level of pressure that comes with both offering or receiving a book recommendation unless it’s someone you know very well (eg. a sibling, a partner or possibly a very close friend), although it can lead you to some amazing books as well.
Therefore I thought I’d do a little pros and cons list (I do love doing those!) about book recommendations, and I’d love to know if you like recommending or being recommended books, or if you feel like it’s too much pressure!
Pros of Recommending
- You get someone to talk to about a book you love: So you read an obscure book and have no one to discuss it with? Well recommend it to a friend and suddenly you do!
- You may get to introduce someone to a book they will love: It is just so satisfying to have recommended a book and have the person love it as much as you do. Plus you managed to spread that book you like to more people, so well done you!
Cons of Recommending
- If you ask them about it and they didn’t like it, then it can be all kinds of awkward: “So what did you think? It’s just amazing, isn’t it?”, “Well, honestly…I didn’t really like it.”, “Oh…right. OK.”.
- You may end up arguing as you try to convince them of its awesomeness: People can be defensive of things they are fans of, and it really is so frustrating when you think something is great and just can’t seem to convince someone else of that fact.
- Their criticism of it may effect your own opinion: If someone whose opinion you respect starts picking apart your favourite book and pointing out flaws you maybe missed then it could make you lose that rose-tinted view you have of it and spoil it for you (to an extent this is what often happens to me when I read negative book reviews of books I really liked – you’re suddenly like, oh…I had never noticed that annoying thing about that character, or that gaping plot hole!).
Pros of Receiving Recommendations
- You might discover a great book: Particularly if the recommendation is by someone you know well and who knows your taste, there’s a reasonable chance you’ll find a book you really enjoy through a recommendation.
- As soon as you finish the book there is someone to talk to about it: Because they read it first you don’t even have to wait for them to finish it to discuss it.
Cons of Receiving Recommendations
- If someone recommends a book to you you may feel as if you have to read it even though it doesn’t sound like something you’d like: I think we’ve all been there, whether it’s about a book, or a film, or a band, or a place – someone insists ‘oh you’ll love it’ when you’re really thinking ‘I have no interest in that at all’, but they insist that much you feel as if you have no choice.
- If you didn’t like the book you have a dilemma: Lie and pretend you liked it and have to invent reasons why, or say you didn’t like it and have to suffer the potential awkwardness.
- They may be a little offended if you didn’t like it: Ok, so you’d have to be a bit of a sensitive person to be offended that someone didn’t like a book that you did, but us bookworms are pretty defensive of our book babies!
Well I’d love some opinions! Do you find recommending books to people easy, or hard? And how’s your track record with other people’s recommendations?